Bobbie, The Extraordinary Dog Who Found His Way Home




In August 1923, Bobbie, an ordinary-looking collie puppy, embarked on a remarkable journey with his owners, the Braizer family. They set off on a summer road trip from their home in Silverton, Oregon, to visit relatives in Wolcott, Indiana. Little did they know that this adventure would soon take an unexpected turn.

A statue of Bobbie the Wonder Dog at Silverton.

During a stop at a gas station in Wolcott, Bobbie was chased away by a group of street dogs. The Braizer family anxiously waited for their beloved pet to return, but as the days passed, their hopes began to fade. After a week of fruitless searching, they reluctantly continued their trip, assuming they would never see Bobbie again.

To their astonishment, six months later, in February 1924, Bobbie limped back into Silverton. He was a shadow of his former self, dirty, emaciated, and with his toenails worn down to nothing. It was an unbelievable sight – a two-year-old puppy who had traversed an astonishing 2,550 miles, all on his own, to find his way back home.

Bobbie’s journey.

News of Bobbie’s incredible feat spread like wildfire across the nation. The Braizer family was inundated with fan mail, some of it even addressed to Bobbie himself. People from various places claimed to have seen Bobbie during his journey, identifying him by his unique features.

Initially skeptical, officials from the Oregon Humane Society launched an investigation into the Braziers’ claims. By speaking with individuals who had encountered Bobbie and provided him with food and shelter along his arduous journey, the Humane Society confirmed the veracity of the remarkable tale. They were even able to piece together a relatively accurate description of the route Bobbie had taken.

According to the research conducted by the Oregon Humane Society, Bobbie first followed the Braziers northeast, further into Indiana, likely in search of a familiar scent to guide him. Eventually, he found what he was looking for and embarked on a westward journey towards the West Coast.

Bobbie the Wonder Dog perches on the trunk of the Braziers’ touring car in Silverton.

During their road trip, the Braziers had left their car at various service stations overnight. Bobbie visited each of these stations, as well as several private homes, and even spent some time at a hobo camp. In Portland, he found solace with an Irish woman who nursed him back to health after he sustained injuries to his legs and paws.

A replica of Bobbie’s elaborate bungalow. 

After approximately two weeks, Bobbie miraculously arrived back in Silverton, reuniting with his ecstatic family. From that moment on, Bobbie became a bona fide celebrity. His extraordinary story captured the attention of people nationwide. He was featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not and even starred as himself in a silent movie titled The Call of the West. Bobbie received countless medals and accolades from various societies, and he was the guest of honor at the Portland Home Show, where over 40,000 people flocked to catch a glimpse of the remarkable dog. In a heartwarming gesture, Bobbie was presented with his very own dog-sized bungalow.

Murals at Silverton

Sadly, Bobbie’s incredible journey took a toll on his health. In 1927, he passed away, and doctors believed that the strain of his extraordinary trek had contributed to his premature demise. Bobbie was laid to rest at the Humane Society’s pet cemetery in Portland, where Rin Tin Tin, the famed German shepherd film star, paid tribute to him by placing a wreath on his grave.

Murals at Silverton. 

Decades later, in honor of Bobbie’s extraordinary tale, a 70-foot-long mural depicting his life was painted on a wall facing Silverton’s busiest street. At one end of the mural stands a life-size statue of Bobbie, next to which stands a replica of his intricately designed dog house.

Murals at Silverton.

Bobbie’s incredible journey remains a testament to the unwavering loyalty and determination of man’s best friend. His story continues to inspire and captivate the hearts of people around the world, reminding us of the extraordinary bond between humans and their beloved pets.

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